Staying In Touch: Simon Zebo’s Generous Gesture to No 1 Fan, Hanna

Hanna and mom Marisa pictured at the Ballymacelligott Vintage and Family Fun Day last September. ©Photograph: John Reidy 16-9-2018

Charismatic rugby player Simon Zebo made a great impression on many followers of the Munster and Ireland teams during his tenure in the red and green shirts.

One of his greatest fans is the soon to be nine-year-old Abbeydorney girl, Hanna O’Connell.

Leaving Munster

When it came to the flying full back / winger’s time to leave Munster for Racing 92 in France, Hanna wore her heart on her sleeve and left him in no doubt that he’d be missed.

Hanna made a poster and took it to Thomond Park for one of his final Munster games and he spotted her and came over to pose for photographs with her.

Hanna dreams of the day when Simon Zebo will pull on the red jersey and run out on the Thomond Park turf again.

Munster and Racing 92 Flags

This week, for St. Valentine’s Day, he sent her two flags – one from Munster and the second from Racing 92 – both of which he signed. There’s more….

On Friday afternoon in reply to a Tweet from his youngest and most loyal fan, Simon Zebo sent the following: “Tell Hanna pick a game and I’ll fly ye guys out and ye can come watch us play in the @ParisLaDefArena lots of love zebs x.”

Best Valentine’s Present

“We can’t believe it – it’s the best Valentine’s Day present ever,” said Hanna’s mom and Castleisland native, Marisa Reidy.

“We’ll be in touch with the Racing 92 people over the coming days and it will be all excitement from now on – but it won’t stop Hanna from dreaming of seeing her hero ‘Zeebs’ back in a Munster jersey,” said Marisa

National Headlines

Hanna and Marisa have made national headlines over the past couple of years because of their successful campaign to make the life changing, Cystic Fibrosis drug Orkambi available.

“It’s made a huge difference to her. Since starting on on the drug last May she’s needed just one antibiotic for a chest infection and that’s compared to one at least every two months before that.

“It’s been a game changer for her,” she said.

In the context of the overall story, Marisa’s aptly applied metaphor is more than understandable.

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